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This Week in Poker: September 14 – 20

Anurag Srivastava, Kunal Bhatia, Arun Sriram, Vinayak Bajaj
  • Naman Sharma September 21, 2022
  • 8 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature, ‘This Week in Poker,’ we bring you the weekly roundup of the most significant online scores by Indian MTT players and the top stories from both the live and online poker circuit. Here are this week’s top stories!

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The Navratri and Durga Puja are knocking on the doors, and the week gone by resonated with the festive spirit. For players, PokerBaazi`s 1000X Series and Adda52`s Nano Poker Series offered a range of tournaments, and both stops culminated on Sunday.

After weeks of intense live poker action, the online MTT players grabbed the biggest payouts for a change. Topping the weekly charts was Anurag Srivastava, a player best known for winning the February 2020 IOPC – The Millionaire Main Event. The 29-year-old pro has been busy posting standout scores, and this week Srivastava added two title victories and five final table finishes to his name, raking in a leaderboard-topping ₹14.02 Lakhs.

Kunal Bhatia, Arun Sriram, Vinayak Bajaj, Gaurav Bhutra, Aditya Singh, Amrit Bisoyi, Neel Haria, Ankit Agarwal, and Sanat Mehrotra were the week`s other top scorers!

In good news for MTT players, the second edition of Spartan Poker`s India Turbo Masters takes off on Friday, September 23. The turbo-paced series has over ₹8 Crores in value guaranteed across its 10-day run.

PokerBaazi will be turning eighth soon, marking the momentous occasion, the brand has announced a whopping ₹7+ Crores GTD Anniversary Cash Leaderboard that will run from September 26 to October 25, with more surprises in store for players.

PokerDangal is another poker operator hitting a milestone this month. The site is celebrating its fifth anniversary in September by hosting a grand Dangal Birthday Bash. Part of the month-long promotions is the first-ever The Big Show (September 21 – 25), a ₹4,400 buy-in multi-flight tournament with a massive ₹60 Lakhs prize pool guarantee and ₹10 Lakhs assured to the champion!

The Philippines has been quite the hotbed for tournament action recently. Just as the APT Philippines II wrapped up on Sunday, the PokerStars-powered Road to PSPC Manila got off the ground at the Coral Lounge at Okada Manila on September 19.

Three Indians, Kunal Patni, Abhinav Iyer, and Jasven Saigal, picked up scores during the closing weekend of APT Philippines II. Patni made a strong finish in the Championships Event, finishing sixth for ₱824,400 (₹11.51 Lakhs). Abhinav Iyer collected ₱178,600 (₹2.49 Lakhs) in 20th place, while Saigal finished 30th in Event #21: ₱27,500 Monster Stack for ₱34,800 (₹48,377).

Local player David Erquiaga championed the ₱10 Million GTD Championships Event for ₱3,925,300 ($68,363) following a heads-up deal with Malaysia’s William Teoh (2nd for ₱3,186,000). Erquiaga’s remarkable run earned him the APT Player of the Series title.

Team India has struck early in PokerStars’ Road to PSPC Manila, where Ottawa-based Naveen Valluri took down the series-opener ₱1 Million GTD Warm-up event for ₱353,158 (₹4.87 Lakhs) after striking an ICM deal with Jeffrey “Apung” Pamplona (2nd for ₱322,842). Chirag Shah (31st for ₹19,020) was the other Indian to cash the event.

Over in Las Vegas, the 2022 PokerGO Tour (PGT) Stairway to Millions played out only 10 out of the scheduled 12 events at The Venetian, as the organizers canned the last two events fearing overlays. Headlining the list of winners this week was Paul Zappulla, who captured Event #10: $15,800 NLHE for his maiden title and a career-best of $124,500 and the PGT trophy. Michael Wang, Michael Rocco, Andre Butler and Chance Kornuth won the other titles.

The domestic gaming sector was full of shocking developments. Fake news about Delta Corp’s long-awaited casino license for the Deltin Hotel in Daman & Diu getting approved sent the company’s share price spiralling up. However, the company denied the same, clarifying that it had received no such approval.

Hearing the Karnataka government’s appeal against the High Court quashing its online gaming ban, the Supreme Court has issued notices to skill-gaming companies and industry bodies, asking them to present their case.

The GST Council has postponed its 48th meeting that was scheduled to take place in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. One of the top reasons was that the Group of Ministers (GoM) on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing have sought more time to take legal opinion before turning in its final report.

Meghalaya government’s move to regulate online gaming and permit casinos has stirred the hornet’s nest in the state. Following broad opposition from Church leaders and various political and social factions, CM Conrad Sangma has held up his government’s casino plans in the state for the time being.

In an unfortunate incident, Triton Poker co-founder Ivan Leow (39) suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and passed away on September 17. Leow`s partners called off the two remaining Triton Poker Cyprus tournaments to mourn his loss.

In other news, Ukraine’s Oleksii Koiev (Won WPT Prime Madrid Main Event for €87,363) and Indo-American player Kulwant Singh (Won RGPS Bay Area Main Event for $100,070) won titles.

 

Online Railbird Report

Anurag Srivastava pulled out another scorcher of a run this past week, winning two marquee tournaments and posting another five FT finishes. The MTT pro lapped up a leaderboard-topping ₹14.03 Lakhs across 17 deep runs, making him our PokerGuru Star of the Week.

Anurag Srivastava
Anurag Srivastava

 

His top finishes include:

> 3rd in Spartan Poker’s Sunday High Roller for ₹6,19,650

> 3rd in PokerStars India’s Sunday Highroller for ₹1,41,267

> 3rd in PokerStars India’s Highroller for ₹1,30,326

> 6th in Adda52 Millions for ₹1,13,600

> 1st in PokerStars India’s Uppercut ₹99,308

> 8th in Spartan Poker’s Thursday High Roller for ₹97,980

> 1st in Adda52’s Friday Bounty for ₹88,928

The former IOPC July 2020 – The Crown runner-up finisher, Kunal Bhatia, was another top pro making waves. He took down Spartan Poker’s Sunday High Roller, adding ₹13.39 Lakhs in weekly earnings.

Kunal Bhatia
Kunal Bhatia

 

Arun Sriram settled at #3 in the weekly charts from deep runs in 14 tournaments, netting ₹12.98 Lakhs altogether!

Arun Sriram
Arun Sriram

 

His top finishes include:

> 1st in Adda52 Millions for ₹5,36,583

> 3rd in Adda52’s The Ballers for ₹2,30,000

> 8th in Spartan Poker’s Sunday High Roller for ₹1,88,700

> 1st in Spartan Poker’s Thursday Showdown Multi Entry for ₹1,20,100

Spartan Poker’s MS #57 – Main Event champion Vinayak Bajaj booked another reasonably profitable run this week. He took down Spartan Poker’s Sunday Showdown and posted two other FT finishes on the site, filling in ₹12.89 Lakhs across his weekly run.

Vinayak Bajaj
Vinayak Bajaj

 

His top finishes include:

> 1st in Spartan Poker’s Sunday Superstack for ₹7,37,775

> 2nd in Spartan Poker’s Armageddon for ₹2,83,067

> 5th in Spartan Poker’s Wednesday High Roller for ₹1,69,875

Gaurav Bhutra was another mover and shaker who raked in ₹11.36 Lakhs, winning over half of that for taking down PokerBaazi`s 1000X#16 Mini Main Event.

Gaurav Bhutra
Gaurav Bhutra

 

His top finishes include:

> 1st in PokerBaazi’s 1000X#16 Mini Main Event for ₹6,74,532

> 4th in PokerBaazi’s 1000X#24 Friday Prime for ₹2,31,826

> 2nd in PokerBaazi’s 1000X#15 for ₹1,10,000

Aditya Singh, Amrit Bisoyi, Neel Haria, Ankit Agarwal, and Sanat Mehrotra were the week`s other top scorers.

 

Notable Winners of the Week

PlayerPrize AmountEventPoker Site
Kunal Bhatia₹13.39 LakhsSunday High Roller (6 Max) ₹50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Neel Haria
₹7.96 Lakhs1000X#32 Main Event ₹50 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Vinayak Bajaj
₹7.38 LakhsSunday Superstack ₹35 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Gaurav Bhutra
₹6.75 Lakhs1000X#16 Mini Main Event - ₹35 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Harshad Barve
₹6.38 Lakhs1000X#24 Friday Prime ₹40 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Deepesh Raka
₹5.75 LakhsWednesday High Roller ₹20 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Avish Sharma₹5.70 Lakhs1000X#20 Thursday Prime ₹35 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Arun Sriram
₹5.37 LakhsAdda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
Shardul Parthasarathi
₹5.16 LakhsThursday High Roller (6Max) ₹25 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Sumit Sapra
₹5.12 LakhsThe Ballers ₹20 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
Neel Joshi₹5.04 LakhsGodfather ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Rubin Labroo₹4.91 LakhsThe Elite (6-Max) ₹30 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Aditya Sushant
₹4.90 LakhsTuesday High Roller (6-Max) ₹15 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Ashish Munot
₹4.40 LakhsUltron ₹21 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Aniket Waghmare
₹4.32 LakhsDestiny 25.0 ₹20 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
“Team Any 2”
₹4.26 LakhsArmageddon ₹20 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Areyann Gurbaxani₹4.10 LakhsNano ME Finale ₹25 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
“Frander"
₹3.82 LakhsMaverick ₹15 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
“sarryu”₹3.72 LakhsMega Stack ₹17 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Anish Arora
₹3.63 LakhsThe Mint ₹14 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
Siddharth Gangwar
₹3.29 LakhsDeepstack Turbo (6Max) ₹15 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Sahil Chutani
₹3.13 Lakhs1000X#33 Megastack ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Rudramani Pokhrel
₹2.74 LakhsSunday Special – PKO ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Vishal Bajaj
₹2.63 LakhsThe Endeavour ₹12 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Laksh Pal Singh
₹2.39 LakhsSunday Highroller ₹10 Lakhs GTD
PokerStars India
Snehil Aggarwal
₹2.32 LakhsBounty Builder HR ₹10 Lakhs GTD
PokerStars India
“Ronywalker"
₹2.19 LakhsThe Big Show ₹10 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Sarthak Singhal₹2.16 LakhsHighroller ₹10 Lakhs GTD
PokerStars India
Aditya Singh
₹2.13 LakhsBattlezone ₹10 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Snehil Aggarwal
₹2.11 LakhsThe Rainmaker ₹10 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Kritagya Sharma
₹1.62 Lakhs1000X#21 ₹9 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Vikaash Shah
₹1.60 LakhsFuturistic (Multi-Entry) ₹10 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Aritra Hazra
₹1.59 LakhsSunday Showdown ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Isaac Shira
₹1.57 LakhsDaily Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Kritagya Sharma₹1.41 Lakhs(7-Max) SPRINT ₹5 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Ayush Garg
₹1.40 LakhsMonster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
Karan Sitlani
₹1.38 Lakhs1000X#15 - ₹10 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Sagar Gulati
₹1.29 Lakhs(7-Max) SPRINT - ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Neel Haria₹1.28 Lakhs1000X#25 ₹8 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Arun Sriram
₹1.21 LakhsThursday Showdown ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
“Arlynton”
₹1.21 Lakhs(7-Max) Daily SPRINT ₹5 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Neeraj Kumar₹1.17 LakhsWednesday Showdown ₹10 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
“hurtlocker007”
₹1.17 LakhsDaily Value Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Navaneesha P
₹1.06 LakhsBattle Royale [8-Max] – ₹4 Lakhs GTD
PokerStars India
Abhishek Sonu
₹1.03 Lakhs1000X#19 ₹7.50 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Raghav Ananth
₹1.01 LakhsNight on Stars ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Anurag Srivastava
₹99KUppercut ₹5 Lakhs GTD
PokerStars India
Prabhat Kumar
₹89K1000X#23 ₹7 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Anurag Srivastava
₹89KFriday Bounty ₹4 Lakhs GTD
Adda52
“Sabretooth”
₹72K1000X#14 - ₹7 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
Vishwas Khanna₹72K(7-Max) Afternoon Boost ₹5 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
“talkless”
₹65K1000X#18 ₹5 Lakhs GTD
PokerBaazi
“knahsahs”
₹64K1000X#22 (PLO-6) ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Ankur Aryan
₹56KDeepstack Turbo ₹3.50 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker

 

Spartan Poker’s ₹8+ Crores GTD India Turbo Masters 2.0 Runs From September 23 to October 2

With the Durga Puja and Navaratri festivities around the corner, poker players also have Spartan Poker’s popular India Turbo Masters 2.0 to look forward to. The fast-paced series guarantees a very juicy ₹8-plus Crores in value and makes a 10-day run from September 23 to October 2.

India Turbo Masters
India Turbo Masters

 

Read the complete report here.

 

PokerBaazi is Celebrating Its 8th Anniversary With Biggest-Ever ₹7 Crores GTD Anniversary Cash Leaderboard (September 26 – October 25), More Announcements to Follow!

PokerBaazi turns eight in October! To mark the occasion, the leading gaming platform has laid out a comprehensive leaderboard-based promotion, the Cash Anniversary, that has a jaw-dropping ₹7 Crores in prizes on offer for cash game players across stakes.

The Cash Anniversary leaderboards get ticking on September 26 and will run through to October 25.

 

PokerDangal’s ₹60 Lakhs GTD The Big Show Runs From September 21-25, ₹10 Lakhs GTD to the Winner!

PokerDangal is turning five this month and has opened the tap to some very enticing promotions as part of the Dangal Birthday Bash!

Part of the celebrations is the ₹60 Lakhs GTD The Big Show, a ₹4,400 buy-in multi-flight tournament that runs from September 21 – 25 and guarantees a whopping ₹10 Lakhs to the champion!

PokerDangal’s ₹60 Lakhs GTD The Big Show

 

Read the complete report here.

 

APT Philippines II

The Asian Poker Tour (APT) Philippines II ran a packed schedule of 24 tournaments at the Grand Wing Casino, Newport World Resorts, from September 6-18.

Offering an exciting dollop of tournament action towards the end was the ₱10 Million GTD Championships Event that brought in 242 participants from two starting flights and late registrations on Day 2. Local player David Erquiaga came out on top to grab the title for ₱3,925,300 (~$68,363) and the APT trophy and Championships ring after striking an ICM deal with Malaysia’s William Teoh (2nd for ₱3,186,000) (~$55,487).

David Erquiaga
David Erquiaga

Erquiaga (1,568 TLB points) cashed six events at the series, locking in the Player of the Series (POS) title.

Team India`s run in the event was headlined by Kunal Patni, the only player from the country to make it to the final table. Patni finished sixth for ₱824,400 (~₹11.51 Lakhs) – picking up his third cash of the series.

Kunal Patni
Kunal Patni

Abhinav Iyer was the other Indian pro to finish in the money, and he fell out in 20th place on Day 3, netting ₱178,600 (~₹2.49 Lakhs).

Read the complete report here.

Earlier, Kunal Patni finished sixth in Event #16: ₱16,500 Super Deep Stack Turbo for 62,600 (86,947).

Read the complete report here.

Event #13 champion Jasven Saigal was another Indian player picking up his third cash at the stop over the weekend. The former PokerGuru pro-min-cashed Event #21: ₱27,500 Monster Stack (30th for ₱34,800) (~₹48,377).

Jasven Saigal
Jasven Saigal

 

Russia’s Aleksandr Merzhvinskii (Won Event #20: ₱160K High Rollers for ₱1,352,200), Japan’s Masatoshi Ezawa (Won Event #21: ₱27,500 Monster Stack for ₱997,500), the Netherlands’ Martijn Gerrits (Won Event #24: ₱87,000 High Rollers Single Day for ₱380,200), Singapore’s Sean Hwa Teik Chuan (Won championed Event #16: ₱16,500 Super Deep Stack Turbo for ₱324,500), UK’s Samuel Deering (Won Event #18: ₱22K PLO for ₱318,300), Singapore’s Jason Wong Kin Hong (Won Event #19: ₱8.8K Deep Stack Turbo for ₱283,000), Federick Cruz (Won Event #17: Hyper Turbo Deep Stack Championship for ₱189,800), Hernan Jaybee Villa (Won Event #23: ₱7.7K Deep Stack Hyper Turbo for ₱146,900), and UK’s Stephan Au Yeung (Won Event #22: ₱8.8K Deep Stack Turbo for ₱121,600) won the other titles.

 

Road to PSPC Manila

PokerStars’ Road to PSPC has been up and running in the Philippines’ capital Manila since September 19, and the much-awaited fest is taking place at the Coral Lounge inside Okada Manila.

Indian players have already begun to exert their presence at the week-long fest. Two players, Chirag Shah and Naveen Tiruvalluri, made Day 2 of the ₱1 Million GTD Warm-up event. While Shah fell out in 31st place (₱13,800 – ₹19,020), Tiruvalluri took his run to the finish line, shipping the series-opener for ₱353,158 (₹4.87 Lakhs)!

The 46-year-old former IT consultant from Ottawa bested the 426-player field, eventually shaking hands on an ICM deal with local player Jeffrey “Apung” Pamplona (2nd for ₱322,842) before taking down the title.

Read the complete report here.

The ₱10 Million guaranteed Road to PSPC Manila Main Event began proceedings on Wednesday. Day 1A recorded 87 entries, and only 14 made it further. Singapore’s Sam En Zhi (466,500) topped the day-end chip counts.

 

Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Cyprus

Initially scheduled to run till September 19, the 2022 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Cyprus was cut short following the untimely demise of Triton Poker co-founder Ivan Leow who suffered a sudden heart attack on September 17.

Ivan Leow
Ivan Leow

 

The organizers cancelled the two remaining events – Event #13: $100K Short Deck Main Event and Event #14: $25K Short Deck.

Read the complete report here.

Among the last winners at the series was the ten-time bracelet champion Phil Ivey who took down Event #10: $30K Short Deck – Ante Only for his third career Triton title and $387,000 in prize money.

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey

 

Read the complete report here.

Karl Chappe-Gatien (Won Event #11: $40K Short Deck – Ante Only for $565,000) was the other winner!

 

2022 PGT Stairway to Millions

The 2022 PokerGO Tour (PGT) Stairway to Millions got underway at The Venetian, Las Vegas, on September 8 but ended abruptly on September 18 after the organizers cancelled the last two events to avoid filling in overlays.

The series’ unique structure offered players a chance to climb up the stakes by grabbing a free seat to upcoming (and higher buy-in events) for finishing in the money in any tournament.

Paul Zappulla won the series’ last event, Event #10: $15,800 NLHE, bagging his maiden live title, a career-best of $124,500, and the PGT trophy.

Paul Zappulla
Paul Zappulla

 

Read the complete report here.

Michael Wang was the other standout winner at the stop and went back-to-back to win two events! Wang took down Event #5: $1,640 NLHE for a $22,986 top prize, followed by Event #6: $1,640 NLHE for $22,458.

Michael Wang
Michael Wang

 

Read the complete report here.

 

With this, we conclude this week’s roundup of the latest news updates and developments from the world of poker. We will return next week with our weekly report. Stay tuned.

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